Irby once again fall foul to a rainy weekend, with saturday fixtures grinding to a halt as the storms rolled in. But it was quarter final weekend for the 2nd XI and with an unmovable fixtured date, the fate was decided on a bowl off.
Rain, Rain and More Rain...
For the 1st XI, the first innings had yet to be complete before the storms came, the same for the back pitch where the 3rd XI were taking on league leaders Orell. It was a must-win for both on the back, so a shame the points were shared.
Our 4th XI travelled a short journey to Wayfarers to play New Brighton, whilst the 2nd XI made the much longer journey north to Norley Hall. Both games suffered similar fates, with the 2nd XI playing the longest, completing 43 overs for the first innings, a fine knock from Chris Davidson and Ste Venables (44 each) saw the Vikings to 175.
The Sunday Drama
Wavetree CC was the destination, Storms were the result. Once again play got off to a great start. Irby were put in to bat on a challenging wicket. The home side bowled well, restricting Irby's 2nd XI to 156. Unfortunately this was the last ball bowled before the rains came. With the ground washed out the captains converged to decide the fate of the game. A toss of the coin for the winner or if the ground was suitable for a strip to be created, a bowl off could commence. About an hour it took before the rain ceased and the skippers saw an opportunity to enforce the bowl off.
5 bowlers per team bowling 2 balls each, 1 point for hitting the stumps with a maximum possible score of 10 per team. If the scores were level by the end of the ten points then the rest of the team were to be used in a bowl off.
Matthew Gillespie was first to be selected by skipper TJ and did not disappoint, after the first Wavetree player had missed the stumps twice, Gilly struck a devastating blow with 2-in-2. It was this great start that saw the downfall of Wavetree, with only one stump hit out of their remaining bowlers. Irby needed no more and Wavetree had nothing more to show, the visitors were victorious and move one step closer to the final.
This weekend, Irby will play Bootle 2nd XI, top of Division 2, Bootle suffered a surprising loss to Irby just two weeks ago. The real question is, can Irby capitalise on the initial victory and bring success once more? Only time will tell.